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Vision Zero

Vision Zero simply means that no one should die or be seriously injured while driving, walking, biking, or using a wheelchair on the transportation system. Originally adopted in Sweden in 1997, Vision Zero focuses on the effective use of data, enforcement, education, and engineering as a new approach to traffic safety. A Vision Zero plan should honor and build upon existing traffic safety programs, but also challenge the status quo.



Data-driven approaches are important, but it needs to be balanced with the human element of traffic safety. We understand cities want to develop data-driven action plans; that’s one of the hallmarks of the Vision Zero approach. At the same time, it is important to remember that Vision Zero is fundamentally about preventing people from dying or being seriously injured on our roadways. Each traffic fatality or serious injury is someone’s parent, child, significant other, friend, and/or co-worker.

Equity must be part of the plan. A disproportionate burden of traffic-related deaths and serious injuries are in communities of color, low-income households, among older adults, young people, people with disabilities, and people with limited English proficiency. Transportation equity focuses on providing each community with the strategies they need to be safe. Part of that is understanding the crash data in those areas; the other critical part of the story can only be gathered by talking directly with people in the communities of concern.

Street pedestrian crossing photo

Philadelphia, PA

We led urban planning firm working in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia and provided consultant support to design and implement a city-wide, equity-based, vision-zero pedestrian safety program.


  • Systems Safe Approach incorporating traditional planning and engineering analysis while accommodating community values and needs

  • Developed and analyzed street typology, streetscape, and pedestrian behaviors along Roosevelt Boulevard and in other areas with high rates of pedestrian-involved crashes

  • Developed strategies and action plan to implement the Vision Zero program and action plan

  • Led community Engagement and was tasked with developing the Public Involvement Plan

  • Pedestrian Safety Workshop were held using online interactive platforms

  • Social media content, outreach graphics, virtual content, and an informative survey for community feedback

DC Vision Zero branded bikes

Washington, DC

We led a consultant team to engage the public and develop the content and strategies for the Vision Zero action plan. The public engagement effort included bus shelter ads, bikeshare station ads, 10 public awareness events on the street, youth summit, bikeshare campaign, and social media. The feedback from the public awareness events was used to develop the priorities of the strategies in the action plan. 

Building for the Morton Connects project

Morton, PA

Morton Borough is crossed by several major roads, including Morton Avenue and State Route 420. Six intersections along these roads were studies for potential improvements, as well as transportation improvements throughout the borough generally.



  • Created a public participation process that brought together steering committee members and the community to learn what issues matter to the public and where problem areas are located.

  • Gathered traffic counts, speed data, and conducted a truck following study to determine existing traffic conditions in

  • the Borough.

  • Developed recommendations for six intersections in the Borough that included new crosswalks, lane and stop markers, and traffic calming measures.

  • Created recommendations for the Borough more broadly regarding traffic calming, pedestrians and bicycles, and trucks.

  • Determined locations and design alternatives for gateway improvements.

  • Developed a gateway plaza for Morton Train Station as well as other improvements for Downtown Morton.

A scooter rider riding along designated bike lanes

Montgomery County, MD

We supported the implementation of the two-year action plan. Specifically, we helped the County advance three strategies: 

  1. an equity framework specific to Montgomery County that outlined a vision and guiding principles.

  2. a campaign to bring awareness of the dangers of distracted driving; and 

  3. a joint incident management plan for police and fire and rescue to improve the safety of emergency personnel safe responding to a traffic crash


2016 American Planning Association

Nation Capital Area Chapter Harold Foster Award for Distinction in Community Outreach and Engagement (Overall Public Engagement)

2016 Communicator Award of Distinction


2015 MARCOM Gold Award for Government Website Design



Safe Streets for Communities Large and Small

Poster, 2023 Vision Zero PHL Conference, Pennsylvania, PA (2023) 

Transportation, Equity, and Vision Zero

Guest Lecturer, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2017)

Building the Vision Zero Plan for the District of Columbia with the Public and Stakeholders

Presentation, Urban Street Symposium, Raleigh, NC (2017)


Winning over the Public to Vision Zero

Panelist, Vision Zero Summit, Washington, DC (2017)

Biking, Equity, & Inclusion (and Other Stuff)

Keynote, Annual Harrisonburg & Rockingham Bike-Walk Summit, Harrisonburg, VA (2016)

Changing People’s Environment through Safe Transportation

Presentation, Mega Viernes, San Juan, PR (2016)

Finding the Missing Links to Create a Connected Place: Vision Zero

Presentation, Makeover Montgomery, Silver Spring, MD (2016)

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